Napster Essay, Research Paper
What would you do if had a access to all the music that you wanted and it was free? Well, in the age of the internet this situation is possible with mp3 s. Mp3 s are compressed digital audio files which has near cd quality sound. It was developed by a German engineering form called Fraunhofer IIS in 1987. It is the most searched word on the internet and the most popular. Mp3 s have affected not only regular people, but also the artists as well. The shareware Napster is a program that lets you search for the music you want and get it for free. Napser was developed by Shawn Fanning at the age of 18. People have said it is one of the greatest innovations made on the inter net next to email and instant messaging. You can also go in chat rooms on aol and get mp3 s through mail also. There are also web sites where you can get albums in mp3 format that aren t even released yet. Napster is the shareware that most people use to get their music. Many people have benefited from Napster, but yet there have been prices that people have had to pay for this peer to peer file sharing software.
Napster provides free mp3 s to everyone. Napster has any song that you can ever want. The song library is vast in that there are millions of people connected to napster throughout the world. There are currently 25 million people around the world using napster. The benefits of this shareware is great especially for college students who have t3 connection where downloading an mp3 only takes seconds. College students such as myself have saved thousands of dollars on cd, because of napster and other napster copycat programs. I have downloaded thousands of songs. Through napster I have downloaded songs that I could never find in record stores or songs that are very hard to find. My music collection has grown, because of napster and I basically have all the music I could ever have wanted. Even without the t3 connection it only takes about 15 minutes to d/l a mp3 for a 56 speed modem which most people have. Napster has made not only made people like me enjoy music, but as other people as well. One artist quotes, Most people I know who use Napster listen to stuff they ve never heard before. And then they get psyched and go out and buy the damn records. It s more like a sampler. Ian MacKaye, recording artist, Fugazi and co-owner of Dischord Records, Salon.com, 1/8/2001. Napster not only provides free mp3 s, but it also helps people hear the music before they buy it. There have been many experiences in my cd purchasing experience where I will buy a whole cd of an artist and like only two songs from the whole album. With napster though I can either just download the two songs that I like and save money by not buying the album. On the other hand if I like the songs that I received from napster; I will buy the whole album. It is also a welcome alternative for people who cannot afford music, because through Napster they can get the music that they want. Through the free music people obtain; emerging artists can get more exposure through this peer to peer file sharing software.
Napster provides more exposure to musicians. For example Nsync put out some tracks from their second album on Napster. People had downloaded some of the songs on the new album before it came out. What this resulted in was making Nsync set the record for most albums sold in one week in which was around two million albums. The Nsync people putting some of the songs on napster was actually great publicity and exposure for the group where the people could decide beforehand if they wanted the album or not. This strategy worked very well and it makes the most sense to me. Basically millions of people have napster and through this sharewhare you can provide your music to millions and advertise your music for free. Compact disc sales have also increased by 500 million alone in 2000 even in this Napster era. Through Napster, I also have discovered many new artisits. I have discovered music that I normally would not listen to and it is all thanks to napster. Napster has basically opened my eyes to different types of music. Napster has basically given more exposure to the artists. Bands like Limp Bizket have sold more albums because of napster. Napster had given them a lot of exposure. Nsync was another band that had benefited from napster in that it went on to sell many records, and set the record for most albums sold in one week. There have been many artisits who have benefited from napster. Small bands have made their music known through napster. Madonna states, Napster could be a great way for people to hear your music who wouldn t have the chance to hear it on the radio Madonna, Rolling Stones, 9/28/2000. Napster is a great way for emerging artists to spread their music around. Ten years ago this could not have been imaginable where emerging artists could spread their music worldwide. It would have cost a lot of money and a lot of traveling. Emerging artistis are being beneficiated by Napster, but other artists are paying the price.
Napster takes money away from the artists. Since people get the free download of music from Napster, it results in other people not buying records and just downloading mp3 s and recording them yourself. So in turn, because of that it has taken away money from the musicians. Many artists have protested against napster particularly Metallica s Lars Ulrich and rap artist Dr. Dre. They are protesting that napster is taking away all of their money for the music they worked hard on. They claim they have lost millions of dollars in revenue, because of napster and they want to shut napster down. This issue is really mixed in that some artists do support Metallica s claim, but there are some artists who do not agree with Metallica. One such artist is Dave Matthews from the Dave Matthews Band who states,
There are a lot of bigger problems in the world than whether Napster succeeds or fails I don t think there is a malice coming out of Napster. We allowed people to tape our concerts from the beginning, and the record company questioned us about allowing that. But my thinking was that it only makes people want to buy more and increases the devotion who are going to listen to us. (Dave Matthews (Dave Matthews Band), Rolling Stone, 7/21/2000.
So there are some artists who feel that napster is actually a positive thing. These artists feel that Napster is actually helping them with their exposure and record sales. The bottom line is that there is money being lost in the shuffle. The recording industry is losing money even though music sales were up last year. Napster has cost many artists money that they have earned from their music.
Napster has changed the world. It has changed the way recording companies do their business and making these companies and artists to defend their intellectual properties. It has changed the way in how music can be obtained or will be heard in the future. Napster has provided free music to the world, and helped out emerging artists. It also has cost the recording companies and artists millions of dollars. On February 12 2001, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against Napster in their effort to keep the major record labels from shutting them down. So as it stands it seems like Napster is shutting down. Even if Napster does get shut down, there are other peer to peer file sharing software so it will be hard to stop people from getting free music. Also with technological advances there will other software better than Napster.